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Scotland Today
Scottish History

Scotland Highlands tours

Relax and enjoy Scotland's splendour. The Scottish Highlands and Islands are Europe's last great wilderness so why not escape with Rabbie's personalised small group tours. Get off the beaten track and discover the secrets of Scotland.

Rabbie's promises to get you in touch with the people, places, history and legends of Scotland and deliver you a unique and memorable experience to last you a lifetime.

In 1995 Scotland's population was 5.1 million. Glasgow is the largest city with a population of approximately 619,000 while the capital, Edinburgh, has a population of around 448,000 with Aberdeen next at just under 219,000.

The Land

Scotland covers an area of approximately 48,955 sq miles/ 78,783 sq km and is situated between 55 and 60 degrees north.

Scotland's central belt is at almost the same latitude as Moscow, Shetland being closer to the Arctic Circle than to the south of England.

Scotland constitutes around 34% of Britain's land mass and is roughly two-thirds the size of England.

Most westerly point: Ardnamurchan Point

Most northerly point: Easter Head, Dunnet Head

Most easterly point: Keith Inch, Peterhead

Most southerly point: Mull of Galloway

The mainland has sea on three sides and there are few places in Scotland more than 40 miles/64 km from salt water. The total coastline is 6214 miles/10,000km. Mainland Scotland, north of its 60 mile border with England, is divided into three geographical areas.

The Highlands, about half the land area, lie north of a line known as the Highland Boundary Fault, from Helensburgh in the west to Stonehaven in the east. This broad definition includes lowlying ground around the Moray Firth.

The Central Lowlands or 'central belt', with the highest population density, lie below the Highlands. The Lowlands' southern boundary is another line defined by geology, running from Girvan in the west to Dunbar in the East.

Whisky & Golf

There are just over 100 whisky distilleries in Scotland. Glenturret Distillery, by Crieff is said to be Scotland's oldest, established in 1775. The Rabbie's Whisky day tour takes you here. Edradour Distillery, Pitlochry is the smallest (legal) distillery in Scotland.

Scotland has approximately 600 golf courses and boasts the home of golf at the Old Links Course in St. Andrews.

Munros:
284 peaks over 914 m/3000 ft of which nine are over 1219 m/4000 ft.

Corbetts:
221 peaks at 762-914m/2500-3000ft

Highest mountain:
Ben Nevis (highest mountain in Britain) 1344m/4406ft

Highest sea-stack in Britain:
Old Man of Hoy 137m/450ft (Orkney - NW coast of Hoy)

Highest waterfall:
Eas a'Chual Aluinn 201m/658ft (Highlands - 1 mile SE of Loch Glencoul)

Highest village:
Wanlockhead 430m/1411ft (Lowther Hills, Dumfriesshire)

Highest road:
Bealach na Ba rises to 626m/2053ft (road to Applecross, Highlands)

Islands:
790 big rocks to large islands, 130 of which are inhabited.

Water:

There are 40 mainland sea lochs.
The largest stretch of fresh water on mainland Britain is Loch Lomond, it has a surface area of 70 sq.km/27 sq.miles.
The loch with the biggest volume is Loch Ness (7 billion cubic metres)
The deepest is Loch Morar (328m/1077ft)
The longest is Loch Awe (41km/25miles).
The longest river is the River Tay 193km/120miles.

Did you know that:

The rocks in Scotland are amongst the oldest in the world - about three billion years old.

Scotland was at one time part of a huge continent linking North America and Scandinavia.

Scotland was separated from England by a sea 1,000 miles wide.

Scotland was once south of the equator and baked in subtropical temperatures.

There are 69 National Nature Reserves and 1 National Park on Loch Lomond - the Cairngorms being the largest nature reserve in Britain.

On the longest day there is no complete darkness in the north of Scotland.

Climate

Scotland's position on the edge of the European continent with sea on three sides means that the weather is very varied. Records show that May and June are usually drier than July and August.

Edinburgh's annual rainfall is only slightly greater than London's and many of the east coast towns have less annual rainfall than Rome.

Generally speaking, the east coast tends to be cool and dry, the west coast milder and wetter.

July and August are normally the warmest months, average temperature of 15-19oC/60-68oF.

Here are some extremes of weather

Highest recorded air temperature 32.80C/910F at Dumfries on 2 July 1908

Lowest recorded air temperature -27.20C/-170F at Braemar on 10 January 1982 and Altnaharra on 30 December 1995

Maximum duration of sunshine in a month 329 hours at Tiree in May 1975, an average of 10.6 hours per day

Maximum rainfall in a day 238.4mm/9.39 inches at Sloy on 17 January 1974

Nature

Biggest bird: White-Tailed Sea Eagle

Oldest tree: yew in Fortingall churchyard 3000+ years old, north of Loch Tay

Tallest tree: Douglas Fir 65m/212ft at the Hermitage, Dunkeld, Perthshire

Highest hedge: beech hedge planted in 1746, now at least 36.6m/120ft high and 550m/1804ft long at Meikleour, near Perth

Longest border: the longest herbaceous border in the world is at Dirleton Castle in East Lothian at 215m/65ft long.

Castles & Historic Houses

The largest castle is Edinburgh Castle.
The largest inhabited castle is Floors Castle at Kelso, Scottish Borders.
The oldest inhabited house is Traquair at Innerleithen, Scottish Borders


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